According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one-half-million children are in foster care at any given time, some of whom are over the age of 16. Every year, typically at the age of 18, approximately 20,000 of these children will age out of the foster care system. Many of these youths fi nd themselves making an abrupt transition to adulthood and independence with little or no assistance from their caregivers, biological families, or the child welfare system. Unlike their same-age peers in the general population, they have no safety net if they fail to succeed at navigating the adult world. Eyster and Oldmixon (2007) note that in the general population, approximately half of the youth ages 18-24 continue to live at home. At the same time, some form of parental support is provided for young adults in their early 20s whether they live at home or not.
Day, A. & Watson, D. (2007). How does Michigan fare in the fight to improve outcomes for youth aging out of foster care? A response from the state and one of its communities. The Michigan Child Welfare Law Journal, Fall, 3-10.